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Top Picks for Rabbit-Resistant Perennials

Top Picks for Rabbit-Resistant Perennials

By Sarah Greenwood, Global Product Development Manager, Darwin Perennials
Photographs courtesy of Darwin Perennials

Ah, rabbits. If your yard is frequented by these fluffy little garden thieves, you might find yourself wondering what plants can coexist with these creatures so that you can enjoy your flowers in all their nibble-free glory.

When talking about rabbit-resistant plants, it’s worth noting that these are plants that are known to be less favorable to rabbits. However, if they are hungry enough, the rabbits are bound to branch out— meaning there are not really any plants that are completely rabbit proof. With that caveat in mind, here are a few of our favorite rabbit-resistant perennials to try in your garden.

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Achillea (Yarrow)

Yarrow is care-free plant that is popular with pollinators, but its aromatic leaves tend to make rabbits steer clear. Try the Milly Rock series for a nice front of the border plant, or the New Vintage series for a striking middle of the border plant. Both series are covered in colorful flat flower clusters in a range of colors.

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Delphinium (Larkspur)

Larkspur is generally left alone by rabbits, quite possibly due to the thick leathery leaves. Whatever the reason, we’re glad they are generally passed by because the flower show is not to be missed. ‘Red Lark’ brings a stunning new coral red color to the category and is sure to be a garden favorite!

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Digitalis (Foxglove)

The beauty of this plant can be enjoyed nibble-free thanks to some natural chemicals found throughout the plant that can be toxic to animals if eaten. Arctic Fox Rose boasts large flower spikes in a stunning peachy rose color that attract pollinators, particularly bumblebees. Foxglove adds romance and structure to any space and is a must-have for cottage gardens.

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Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)

Rabbits generally steer clear of red hot poker, making it a great choice for late season color in your rabbit-resistant garden. Glowstick boast bright yellow flowers that attract hummingbirds and pollinators with foliage reminiscent of an ornamental grass. Glowstick continues to send up flowers from late summer to frost for a long color window.

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Lavandula (Lavender)

While we enjoy lavenders for their delightful fragrance, it’s this same pungent aroma that generally deters rabbits from munching on these plants. ‘SuperBlue’ is an excellent English lavender variety with a compact habit and nice rebloom from a trim, while Primavera is a large-flagged Spanish lavender that doesn’t need chill to flower and doesn’t melt out in the heat and humidity of summer.

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Nepeta (Catmint)

Getting its fragrant foliage from the mint family it belongs to, catmint is a great choice for a rabbit-resistant perennial. For a traditional look, try Junior Walker for a full-sized flower show on a compact plant, or amp up your garden presence with Whispurr Pink or Whispurr Blue for a full size catmint with a truly impressive flower show. Alternatively, check out Prelude Blue for a landscape powerhouse with more tropical looking foliage and stunning blue flowers.

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Salvia (Meadow Sage)

Meadow sage is another member of the mint family, whose strong scent is a deterrent for rabbits. Try All-America Selections Winner ‘Blue by You’ for an early bloomer with a truly prolific flower show. It also has an excellent habit that holds together throughout the season. If you are after a pink flower show, try Rose Marvel, whose super-sized blooms are sure to impress.

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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

Lavender is the on-trend plant for gardeners this year. Click here for an article that details a top-tier selection of lavender that ensures success.

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